There's a thing that happens there by the water's edge on most ocean beaches. I can't remember the name of the scientific theory or law that describes it. As a kid I thought of it as "quicksand", though when I think about it, of course, I realize it is far from quick.
The wave spreads itself thin as it ends its journey and the water it carried seeps down through the grains of sand. As it does, the sand pulls apart and anything with weight begins to sink down too. There's something soothing about sinking. There's something, especially as a child before I knew there was a limit just there about where my knees are, where the sinking stops, that is a little fearsome also about sinking.
But sinking it is. As I sink today, I'm trying not to move. It's the moving that makes the sinking more rapid. So I'm standing alone now. There were others once, but now I'm looking at the sun setting, feeling the coolness of night, and the water and sand around my calves, the sticky suction feeling of trying to pull up one leg then the next... but I think for now, for as long as it takes, I'll stand here motionless. And let the water wash over me, and hope that there is a limit, that place where I'll stop this slow descent into the sand.
It's not quick, thankfully, but I always wonder how long it might take if I keep moving, to go as far as my hips, my waist or my chest, or further. For now, stillness it is. Calming water and wet sand and sinking... and the faint memory of the others.